How to buy a puppy

If you decide to buy an Irish Kennel Club registered dog, there are certain IKC guidelines and legal requirements you must follow. All IKC Breeders are bound by the Irish Kennel Club Code of Ethics. Some breeders have conditions of sale (endorsments) if in any doubts please contact the IKC. Once you have decided what breed of dog you want, buying a puppy is fairly straightforward.

In order to have a dog that is registered with the IKC, it is necessary for its parents to satisfy the criteria. The papers for the new puppy must be obtained by the breeder, and it is advisable to insist that the registration and the signed transfer of ownership are given to you when you collect your puppy.

Purchasing a pedigree puppy

The Irish Kennel Club would strongly advise any prospective new owner wishing to purchase a Pedigree Puppy to consult with the relevant Breed Club Secretary/Officers who will be happy to give as much advice as possible as to the suitability of the Breed proposed. You will find listed elsewhere in this publication the information on all the Affiliated Breed Clubs/Officers.   A prospective Puppy purchaser should also satisfy themselves that they are happy with the environment/conditions that the Puppy has been reared in, and ask to see the Dam (mother) and possibly the Sire (father) where possible.   Some Breeders will bring their Bitch to a Stud Dog elsewhere, so it is not always possible to view the Stud Dog.

However always be happy with the temperament of the Mother and the puppies.   Puppies do not leave home before 8 weeks, which has given ample time for them to be fully weaned from their Mother and established on their own feeding regime.

The Breeders of all IKC Registered Pedigree Puppies are bound by our Code of Ethics and we would advise that you take the time to read the Code of Ethics and to note the documents that you should receive with the puppy.

Should you at some later date decide to take up “Dog Showing” as a hobby you will also find the information on the various Show Secretaries listed.

Research Your Breeder

One of the most important things to do is to research your breeder. Some breeds have breed clubs who will be able to inform you about breeders that they know and trust. These are breeders who have had the relevant health tests/ DNA tests carried out on their animals. Other health tests may be needed such as eyes, elbows, patellas, and hip scores, depending on what breed you are getting, so be sure to know what you’re looking for.

There are some things you should watch out for. A good breeder will only breed from two healthy animals. Ask to see the mother and, if you can’t, ask why this is the case. A reputable breeder will show you the mother. You should always be able to see where your puppy has been living: if you can’t, that sends up real alarm bells for puppy farming.

Collecting your new puppy from the breeder

Remember to take:

  • comfortable dog carrier
  • cosy blanket
  • water and food for longer journeys

When you collect your new puppy it will probably be nervous being taken away from its litter and environment for the first time. Here are some tips on how to make your new puppy as relaxed as possible:

  • Try to minimise exposure to loud noises
  • Settle your puppy in a carrier
  • Don’t let children or adults handle the puppy too much if it’s nervous
  • Keep your puppy well ventilated
  • If the puppy shows signs of distress sit quietly and comfort it
  • Make sure you give your puppy comfort breaks and take spare bedding – puppies are inclined to wee when nervous or excited!
    Ensure you follow socialisation guidance from the breeder and continue this training for at least a further eight weeks.

Check Your Puppy

When you get your puppy it should be checked out by a vet within 48 hours. If the check proves that the animal is unhealthy, you should return to the breeder. Always check first that this is their policy. Be prepared to wait, and to do considerable research. You’re going to have this dog for a long time, so it’s worth waiting for a healthy animal from someone you trust.

Socialising your puppy

Your breeder should pass to you information on all the socialisation activities they have completed with your puppy and advice on the actions you need to continue with.

Sleeping and eating arrangements

  • Create designated sleeping and eating to help him acclimatize to his new home. Always ensure he has fresh water available.
  • Choose wisely where your new puppy will sleep. It is important that he can see family life and is not in a draft with suitable dog bedding to sleep in. You must also choose a place for him to eat with enough room for food. Always ensure fresh water is available for him.

Choosing a name for your puppy

  • A short, two-syllable name will avoid confusion with single-syllable commands.
  • Names should be short. A two-syllable name is best because it is brief and will not be confused with one-syllable commands such as “no” or “sit”.
  • Be consistent. All family members should use the same name for the puppy

12 Golden Rules

  1. Train your dog in elementary obedience so that he is under control   at all times.
  2. Feed your dog at regular times and do not give tit-bits between meals.
  3. Feed your dog from his own dish, which must be kept apart from those of the human family and washed up separately.
  4. Keep your dog on a lead anywhere near a road, or where there are farm animals.
  5. Do not allow your dog to foul pavements, buildings, lawns and gardens or open spaces where children play. Always clear up after him.
  6. Do not allow your dog to be noisy and disturb your neighbours.
  7. Provide your dog with his own bed. Don’t let him sleep on yours.
  8. Never take your dog into a food shop.
  9. Keep your dog clean and regularly groomed.
  10. Register your pet as a patient and yourself as a client with a veterinary surgeon of your choice. Do not wait for an emergency.
  11. If you do not wish your dog to have puppies you should obtain advice from your veterinary surgeon.
  12. Make proper arrangements for the care of your pet when you are going on holiday.